740.00119 EAC/1–645

The Ambassador in the United Kingdom (Winant) to the Secretary of State

No. 20232

Sir: With reference to telegram No. 18 of January 5, 9 p.m., Comea 143, which reported the establishment of an Allied Consultation Committee in the European Advisory Commission to consult with representatives of certain European United Nations Governments, I have the honor to transmit copies of a Summary of the Instrument of Unconditional Surrender of Germany which has been prepared in the Commission for the purpose of serving as a basis for discussion in the meetings of the new Committee.

Respectfully yours,

For the Ambassador:
E. Allan Lightner, Jr.

Secretary, U. S. Delegation,
European Advisory Commission

Summary of Instrument of Unconditional Surrender of Germany


The Instrument of Unconditional Surrender of Germany, as recommended by the European Advisory Commission to the Three Governments,* is a relatively short document of a predominantly military character.

It is designed to be signed on the Allied side by representatives of the Supreme Commands of the United Kingdom, the United States and the Soviet Union, and on the German side by representatives of the German Government and of the German High Command.

The Instrument consists essentially of three parts:

The first is the preamble which includes an unqualified acknowledgement on the part of Germany of the complete defeat of the German armed forces on land, at sea and in the air, and an announcement by her of her unconditional surrender. The Representatives of the Supreme Commands of the United Kingdom, the United States of America and the Soviet Union, acting by authority of their respective Governments and in the interests of the United Nations, thereupon announce the terms of surrender.

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The second part comprises a series of articles which provide—

for the cessation of hostilities by Germany in all theatres of war against the forces of the United Nations;
for the complete disarmament and disposal of the armed forces of Germany or armed forces under German control;
for the standstill of all such forces in their positions at the time of surrender, pending instructions from the Allied Representatives;
for the evacuation by the said forces of all territories outside the frontiers of Germany as they existed on 31st December, 1937, according to instructions to be given by the Allied Representatives;
for the holding by the German authorities at the disposal of the Allied Representatives, intact and in good condition, of all war material, naval vessels, merchant shipping, aircraft, transportation and communications facilities and equipment, military, naval and air installations, and factories designed to produce the foregoing or otherwise to further the conduct of war;
for the release of United Nation’s prisoners of war and of United Nations’ and other nationals who are under restraint for political reasons, and for their protection and maintenance prior to their repatriation;
for the stationing of forces and civil agencies in any or all parts of Germany by the Allied Representatives as they may determine.

The third part is a General Article setting forth the supreme authority of the Three Powers with respect to Germany, including the power completely to disarm and to demilitarise Germany and to take such other steps as the Three Powers may deem requisite for future peace and security. The General Article further states that the Allied Representatives will present additional political, administrative, economic, financial, military and other requirements arising from the surrender of Germany, and will issue Proclamations, Orders, etc., for the purpose of laying down such additional requirements and of giving effect to the other provisions of the Instrument of Surrender. The German authorities will carry out unconditionally the requirements of the Allied Representatives, and fully comply with such Proclamations, Orders, etc.

  1. This document was prepared by the European Advisory Commission before the appointment to it of a representative of the French Provisional Government. [Footnote in the original.]